Vegan, Delicious Salad Dressing

I recently saw a recipe in the New York TImes Food section that they called Vegan Ranch Dressing. Once again, because I make my own dairy based version, I was imtrigued and clicked on the link.  Low and behold, it was a recipe that I have used for years!  I read the comments and I can tell you, they were not positive.  People really thought the title meant it was going to taste exactly like the dairy version, and even the cashew one decidedly doesn’t!

I don’t call it vegan anything, I do call it tahini dressing.  I originally came upon it in Nigella Lawson’s TV show, it looked delicious. The only difference in the ingredients was the proportions and two ingredients.  This version uses granulated garlic and dill.  My previous version uses cumin and fresh garlic.  The flavor profile is completely different. This version does reach towards ranch, in the dill and garlic, but it turns out like a very lemony and picante dressing. Try this one out, and let me know what you think.  It’s a winner, even if it isn’t anything like ranch dressing!

Vegan Salad Dressing

  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup smooth tahini paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic (NOT garlic salt)
  • 1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dry dill
  • 1/2 cup water (possibly more)

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, add the zest and juice of the lemons, the tahini, salt, pepper, garlic and dill.  Pulse until a stiff paste forms.  It will be very stiff, but don’t panic, you’re fine.

Turn the processor on full blast and slowly drizzle the water into the tube, about 2 tablespoons at a time.  The water will change the texture from a stiff paste to a smooth and creamy mixture.  It’s almost like a mousse.  When that texture is reached, stop adding the water.

Taste the dressing, and adjust the seasoning to your taste.  Remember this will be in the fridge for a few hours, so the taste will be slightly different, so go easy on salt.  I sometimes find that it thinkens up a good bit when chilled, so you can stir in some water to thin it if you like.  I usually leave this quite thick, but you can make it as thin as you choose.

The last time I made this I served it with grilled romaine wedges, and it was wonderful!